Historical names included,
Ariana or Bactria in ancient times,
and Khorasan in the middle ages.
The area of present-day Afghanistan is invaded by Alexander the Great.
He seized it
from the Persian Empire.
Later centuries saw area occupied
Scythians, White Huns and Turks.
Arab invaders introduced Islam to the area.
Eventually it settled into a collection of independent communities.
Unified kingdom is established.
"The Great Game"
Towards the middle of the 19th Century, Imperial Britain and Czarist Russia
maneuvered for power among the kingdoms and caliphates of Central Asia.
exploration, alliances, and military moves became as "The Great Game."
Britain moves into Kabul, to thwart Russian incursions
into Central Asia, and protect it's Indian colony.
British envoy was killed by a mob and the British garrison
retreated toward what
is now Pakistan after it was assured of safety.
But ambushes and massacres
by Afghan warlords obliterated the
garrison of 4,500 soldiers and 12,000
civilians, leaving only one survivor.
Britain retaliated and warfare raged until
After a second Anglo-Afghan war, from 1878 to 1880, Britain
put its own
candidate, Amir Abdur Rahman, on the Afghan throne.
During this time, the
British and Russians officially established
the boundaries of what would become
King Abdur Rahman remained neutral during W.W. I, angering
his subjects who wanted him to join the Axis coalition.
assassination in 1919 of Habibullah, Rahman's son and
successor, a third
son, Amanullah, launched the Third Anglo-Afghan war.
from W.W. I, relinquished its control over Afghan
foreign affairs by
signing the Treaty of Rawalpindi in August 1919.
Amir Abdur Rahman Khan
King Amanullah introduced several reforms such as
the abolition of the
traditional Muslim veil for women
and the opening of a number of coeducational
The move alienated many tribal and religious leaders.
abducted in Jan. 1929, after Kabul
was captured by a rival political group of
Several leaders held the throne before Zaher Shah assumed
control in 1933.
He served as the king of Kabul for four decades.
1953, Lt. Gen. Mohammad Daud Khan Seizes
King Zaher Shah and his PM, Shah Mahmud, promoted elections
and a free press, increasing Afghan involvement in foreign affairs.
However, Lt. Gen. Mohammad Daud Khan lead a revolt in 1953.
Daud Khan turned to
the Soviets for economic/military assistance,
official neutrality during the Cold War.
During his 1953-63 tenure, Daud
Khan introduced several educational and
social reforms, such
as the practice of secluding women in private places.
Disagreements over the
Afghani-Pakistan border led to Daud's resignation.
The National Assembly approved a new constitution providing
for a bicameral legislature to which the people, King Zaher Shah
assemblies each appointed 1/3 of the deputies.
The elections of 1965 and
1969 yielded strong showings
from both Islamic fundamentalists and the communist
People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan.
Zaher Shah refused to enforce the
constitution, and political instability grew.
Former PM Daud Khan led a coup of
leftist military officers.
Daud Khan introduced socio-economic reforms,
poverty compounded by widespread govt.
repression lead to a leftist coalition.
A coup led to the death of Daud Khan
and the rise
of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan.
Taraki, secretary general of the party, became PM.
King Zaher Shah
Soviets Rear Their
After signing a bilateral treaty with Moscow, Soviet
money and military assistance poured into Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, the People's
Democratic Party introduced decrees on
land reform, the abolition of usury and
changes in marriage customs.
The new laws alienate the govt.
from the Islamic countryside.
To combat insurgency, the
People's Democratic Party imprisoned
members of the religious establishment as
well as the Kabul intelligentsia.
The crisis triggered armed revolt in the
ethnic leaders and conservative Islamic mullahs led protests.
As dissatisfaction with the government grew, the
itself increasingly reliant on Soviet aid.
After a palace shootout, Hafizullah Amin, a former PM
representative of a competing leftist faction,
seized power from Taraki.
Revolts in the countryside continued.
month after the coup, Amin refused to accept
Soviet advice on consolidating power in rural areas.
Soviet airborne troops landed in Kabul.
U.S.S.R. claims they are
conducting 'field exercises'.
Soviets kill Amin and
recognized Babrak Karmal as PM.
A massive Soviet ground invasion
Rise Of The Mujahedeen
Although backed by 120,000 Soviets, Karmal
establish authority outside Kabul.
Men from throughout the Muslim world
join the fight against the U.S.S.R.
The resistance fighters (A.K.A. Mujahedeen), received weapons and
from the U.S. Britain, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the
Soviets Out, Chaos In
Unceasing Afghan resistance brought the Soviets to the bargaining table.
Geneva Accords signed, creating a timetable
for full Soviet
withdrawal by 2/15/89.
About 14,500 Soviets and an estimated 1 million
their lives between 1979 and the Soviet withdrawal in 1989.
the Mujahedeen were not involved in negotiations,
the pullout left a power
vacuum in Afghanistan.
Soviet withdrawal is complete.
Factional war intensifies.
Communist President Najibullah resigns.
Anti-Soviet forces take control.
A moderate, Burhanudin Rabbani, takes over.
Factions continue to fight each other.
After Soviets pulled out, the united front against Moscow collapsed.
Various mujahedeen factions fought among themselves
to take over Kabul, which led to the
rise of the
fundamentalist Islamic Taliban movement.
Taliban takes Kabul.
Najibullah is executed, Rabbani flees.
Islamic law takes over.
Taliban wins victory at Mazar-e Sharif.
Taliban victorious at Taloqan,
giving it control over 90% of country.